LASIK eye surgery can be life changing and is a great option if you’re ready to be through with contacts or glasses. Determining when to get LASIK can be complicated. So, here are some questions to ask yourself to help you decide if it’s a good time to consider investing in the procedure.
Are you at least in your mid 20s?
Most LASIK patients are between 20 and 40 years old. While you can have LASIK as early as age 18, it’s best to wait until you reach your mid 20s because your vision will likely change as you enter early adulthood.
If you’re a senior citizen, you may also be a candidate for LASIK if you don’t have cataracts.
Is your vision stable?
Your prescription needs to be stable for at least two years before you can become a LASIK candidate. If your vision is changing, LASIK can’t serve as a long-term fix. It would be a shame to invest in a vision corrective procedure only to find out that you need glasses, contacts, or another surgery a year or two later.
Is it the right time in your life for LASIK?
LASIK, like any procedure, requires time to prepare and recover. Therefore, you have to decide if your schedule allows you to properly care for your eyes before and after your surgery.
Before LASIK, you will need to stop wearing contacts for two to four weeks because contact lenses change the shape of your cornea.
Post surgery, you will have a few restrictions. For example:
- You will not be able to drive for approximately 24 hours. So, someone will need to drive you home from your procedure and then back the next day for your follow-up appointment. Your eye doctor will likely clear you to drive the day after your procedure.
- While most LASIK patients can return to work the following day, it is not unusual to have slight discomfort during the weeks after surgery, such as watery, dry, or bloodshot eyes. Depending on your occupation, this can be inconvenient.
- You won’t want to get water in your eyes for at least a week. So, it’s important to be careful while showering, and you’ll want to avoid pools and hot tubs.
- You can return to exercising a few days after surgery, but it’s very important to keep sweat out of your eyes for at least two weeks. Bring a towel to the gym and wipe your face frequently to avoid this.
- It’s wise to refrain from wearing makeup for a week after surgery. Your eyes will be sensitive, and you don’t want to risk getting makeup in your eyes.
When scheduling your procedure, think about your upcoming plans. If you’re about to run a marathon, head to the beach, or face a busy season at work, it’s probably wise to wait.
Can you afford LASIK?
Most health insurance companies do not cover vision corrective procedures. Therefore, being able to afford the surgery certainly influences when you can get LASIK. The average cost of LASIK in 2017 was $2,135 per eye, but paying for LASIK can be less of a financial burden by using a flex spending plan or a health savings account.
While these questions are a great place to start, the best way to determine when to get LASIK and if you are a candidate for surgery is to consult a professional. Your eye doctor can help you understand if LASIK is right for you based on the answers to these questions.
At Williamson Eye Institute, we are dedicated to assisting our patients with their vision and eye-related needs throughout the years. To find out more about our services, visit our website or call our office to schedule a personal consultation. You can also find us on Facebook or LinkedIn.